Pregnancy can be risky - but one of the greatest risks is fear: is your baby normal and healthy? Here's a look at pregnancy and the pros and cons of prenatal testing.
Linda Sherwood

Prenatal testingUnexpected worry
After worrying about a "double bubble" on her baby's bowels for more than two months, first-time mom, Jessica Ashworth of Grayling, Michigan, was relieved to find out the bubble had disappeared and her baby was once more deemed healthy by the experts. Despite the clean bill of health, the months of worry played a toll on Jessica. It wasn't until the birth of her son, Alex, two months later, that she finally stopped worrying.

"You could say I snapped at pretty much everybody," said Jessica. "I hated being pregnant." Jessica's pregnancy turned into a nightmare after she had a routine ultrasound that detected the bubble.

At the age of 21, a problem pregnancy was the last thing Jessica expected. "I was jealous of people with perfectly healthy babies," she said. Pregnancy, which is supposed to be a happy time, became a time of anxiety. She talked to genetic counselors and doctors who told her the odds of her baby having Down syndrome and outlined her options.

Don't forget that you DO have options
Doctors gave her possible options including invasive tests such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS). Both procedures carry risks for the fetus including miscarriage. One alternative not mentioned to her was her ability to choose not to have any of the tests done.

"Any kind of prenatal testing brings as many problems as it solves," says Dr Aliza Kolker, a professor of sociology at George Mason University and co-author of Prenatal Testing: A Sociological Perspective.

Even for the vast majority of women who get good news, it adds anxiety and changes the nature of the pregnancy," said Kolker. "You can't let yourself feel happy about the pregnancy because you don't know."

Jerri Ledford of Nashville, Tennessee, agrees. "I didn't want to know. Knowing would only have meant worrying." Jerri's doctor recommended more invasive tests because of a family history of Down syndrome. "I only had the basic routine type tests done. Everything else I refused. It wasn't so much a decision as a feeling in my heart that no matter how things turned out, that was how they were meant to be.

"I knew what the tests entailed, what the benefits and the risks were," she said. "I make it my business to know anything that relates to my health or healthcare."

No testing
Registered nurse Irene Denton of Chippewa Lake, Ohio, decided to not have any testing done except for the glucose tolerance test that checks for elevated blood sugar and an ultrasound at 20 weeks. Familiar with the testing available, Irene decided not to have the triple serum testing, which is also known as alpha feta protein (AFP), because it isn't always accurate.

"It wouldn't have changed our minds about the pregnancy and it could have caused unnecessary worry," said Irene. "I believe there is a reason for everything. I don't feel that making a decision on testing that could be inaccurate is appropriate. The ultrasound satisfied us to know that our child had all the necessary parts."

Pregnancy has its risks
"There aren't any tests that guarantee a healthy baby," says Dr Marion Verp, a genetic specialist at the University of Chicago. "Screening tests, like ultrasounds and maternal serum tests, say what is the level of risk, but they are not diagnostic tests."

While amniocentesis and CVS can diagnose chromosomal abnormalities and some gene deformities, these tests cannot determine the severity of the condition. One of the most commonly tested for conditions, Down syndrome, can be expressed in a wide range of severity from mild to severe. It is impossible to tell from the chromosomal testing the range of severity expressed for your child.

While expecting their second child, James Walsh of California and his wife were told there was a slight risk their child could have Down syndrome. After weighing the odds, James and his wife decided not to have an amniocentesis to determine whether or not their child did in fact have Down syndrome. "A pregnancy is an inherently risky situation," says the dad-to-be. "There are just so many things that can go wrong." In their case, the odds of having Down syndrome were less than the odds of a miscarriage from an amniocentesis. The decision, however, didn't keep James and his wife from worrying and wondering.

"Some days more than others, the 1 in 100 chance of the baby having Down syndrome loomed large for me," says James. "My wife told me she felt the same way." By the time their child was born in July 1994, they had lived with the 1 in 100 chance of a problem long enough that it had become one more risk in a risk-prone process.

His experience, however, led James to write a book, True Odds, which looks at how risk is measured and managed and how perceptions of risk are formed and manipulated.

Evaluate your options
Prenatal testing isn't for everyone. While amniocentesis and CVS results can bring you peace of mind if you have certain risk factors, it can also cause anxiety and stress. Both procedures do carry slight risks of miscarriage.

"Amnio is probably slightly safer than CVS," said Dr Verp. Amniocentesis has a one-half percent (0.5 percent) risk of miscarriage compared to a one percent (1.0 percent) risk with CVS, according to Dr Verp.

One of the first questions parents need to consider when contemplating an amniocentesis or CVS procedure is what they would do if a chromosomal defect were diagnosed. While these tests can determine whether a problem exists, it can't cure the condition.

An amnio or a CVS test was never an option for Christine Gonzales of Springfield, Missouri. "Chromosomal defects are part of the roll of the dice that is conception," said Gonzales. "In my opinion, amnio and CVS are not appropriate unless the woman would choose to interrupt the pregnancy. Since that is not an option for us, we would not see any reason to have these tests."

For Jessica Ashworth, however, the amniocentesis would have been an opportunity to ease her mind. Although she had no intentions of aborting the pregnancy, if the bubble hadn't disappeared, she would have considered having an amniocentesis to ease her worries.

Important questions to ask
Dr Verp recommends patients ask three questions before undergoing prenatal testing of any sort.

1. What is the reason for the test?

2.What information will you get from the test?

3.What information will you not get from the test?

Other factors to consider include where the testing is done and if the laboratory was certified by either CLIA or CAP -- organizations that set standards and provide oversight for laboratory procedures.

Advances in amniocentesis
One of the biggest drawbacks for amniocentesis was the long waiting period, which at one point stretched from two weeks to a month, before the test results were available. The waiting period now averages about seven days, according to Dr Verp. Some specific chromosomal abnormalities can even be tested for with the results given over night.

A separate test that can be performed overnight looks at chromosomes 13, 18, 21, x and y, which are the most common chromosome abnormalities found in genetic testing, says Dr Verp. Results from CVS tests can be back in five days.

While the time it takes for test results to be available has improved dramatically, the time weighs heavily on the parents as they wait.

"I still wish I hadn't gone through all that unnecessary worrying," said Jessica Ashworth. "I just wish I could wave a magic wand, and poof, I'd have a healthy baby tomorrow."

Tags: bad good testing

recommended for you


carpinteyroiax November 14, 2014
锘?owner Scott A new. Simmons claimed your dog has been instructed he / she were supposed to pay one other $10,000 with regard to years way back to The year 2002.

Mr. Simmons said this individual was astonished that he or she advised the location he / she wants confirmation the guy[url=]Moncler bevrijding heren vest stijlvol en ruim Lage Prijs Verkoop Winkel 2014[/url] actually owes the added capital.

"This is being conducted with institutions, besides your Sorcerers,Half inch he stated.

As it extends back numerous decades, Mister. Simmons explained, although love to decide an agreement as well as compensate 1 / 2 the quantity whether it identified the can need to pay a whole lot of cash.

Inside vowing so that you can arena a group this season, Mr. Simmons even offers inquired a 1 season lease file format to the Wizards to relax and play on the fairgrounds as you move the accounts receivable troubles are fixed.

Local users proclaimed there're worried there could be errors for some other payments and also lab tests, in order that the reason why some other auditor should consider the Areas along with Sport Unit.

"Clearly, at this time there a dilemma that ought to be attended to,In Mr. Smith claimed. "There ought to be levels in put thus it doesn [url=]nike air jordan 12 gamma blue[/url]occur once again."

Mister. Street. Croix, that started doing work for the metropolis with 1975, runs some sort of unit that has a $163,269 resources that literally brings with $214,1,000 throughout earnings. His salary is $63,068. Within the auspices in the location Division of Community Functions, Recreational areas along with Entertainment extends particular things like baseball along with skate boarding plans in the its polar environment market, the summer season recreation space activities, the area open-air pools plus Testosterone golf ball along with other leagues in addition to works in concert with many agencies to bring shows, functions in addition to illustrates into the fairgrounds.

Mister. . Croix declared until the billing challenges began, her father, Jefferson Area Legislator Harry N. . Croix, H Watertown, possessed approached him or her about possibly managing to your Legislature couch he'll leave following your Nov election.閿樼笅arks board fractures vote for different River Merritt pet dog playground

That will alternating applause in addition to boos, admirers as well as adversaries of any planned canine park your car with Lakeside Area split even with Sunday evening throughout a getting together with within the Areas together with Recreation Advisory Commission payment in the event the system attracted a new complement political election through the fee.

The work, referred to as Lakev

[url=]nike free 3.0 v4 womens coral[/url]
[url=]nike air max made in usa[/url]
[url=]Moncler Hooded Vesten voor Heren Rood Lage Prijs Verkoop Winkel 2014[/url]
[url=]air max 1 fb yeezy price[/url]
[url=]air max 1 atmos safari ebay[/url]
carpinteyrocbl November 05, 2014
锘縪mbia with the Peak with the Our country's, a resource informed about your analysis told Nbc Country wide Security and safety Donor Fergie Townsend for Thursday night.

From a snapshot published regarding the public Fb page around February Last year, Chaney is viewed standing up behind Palin, dressed in dark-colored a pair of glasses as well as what seems turn into a music band. Under the photograph, Chaney uploaded a remark however, "I got reviewing the girl's out and about, once you know what i'm saying?In . That will thoughts attracted a substantial reply coming from Palin Thurs ..

"This realtor who had previously been sort of silly right now there within putting up shots along with opinions in relation to examining people out there,Half inch Palin stated for Fox Media. "Check this particular outside, security guard. Yo[url=]Nike Air Max TR 180 Leather Men Men Gray Black Yellow[/url]u're fired! And that i believe his lady sends your pet towards doghouse.In

Chaney and also Stokes are among 12 whole Technique Provider employees who are underneath exploration a result of the scandal. Extra Secret Services workers could get away from the business Saturday, mentioned Dwelling Homeland Security and safety Chairman Associate. Peter King, L Nyc.

Legal representative Lawrence Berger informed CNN that he's comprising Chaney together with Stokes, nevertheless refused even more thoughts, including the key reason why he's addressing the two men. Berger will be basic guidance for the National Law Enforcement Officers Connections, any joining that also includes the secrets Program, among different services. That will sales message notes that he is married, posseses an taken youngster and his awesome jobs have a time shielding former Second in command Penis Cheney.

Stokes monitored the particular proper dog training unit in the Magic formula Service's Adam N. Rowley Exercising Heart exterior California, as outlined by PetLife Airwaves and also a employment advancement placing for the Higher education of Maryland's site.

The company states that particular of people who still left the business can be a monitoring personnel who is currently being allowed to give up work. One other staff reconciled, the agency said. A 3rd representative fashionable managing staff member has forced out there, with the agent suggesting her removing. formal proclaimed for situation associated with not recognized that the professional promises to overcome the ouster. It was not quickly apparent regardless of whether this person was Chaney or p[url=]Nike Lunar Force 1 Fuse Mid Silver Red[/url]erhaps Stokes.

[url=]Nike Air Max 90 Premium Tape DarkGreen Red Camo[/url]
[url=]Nike Air Max 2014 Men Beige OrangeRed[/url]
[url=]Nike LunarGlide 5[/url]
[url=]Nike Roshe Run Mid Suede DarkBlue Volt[/url]
[url=]Nike Air Max 90 Premium Tape Blue Hero Camo[/url]